Only foreigners with a non-immigrant year-long visa, or a year long visa extension, can open a personal Thai bank account. A work permit, Thai marriage certificate or retirement visa will speed the process along.
In all cases you will need a letter from your landlord with proof of address and copies of your passport and visa, and possibly a reference from your employer, with the company seal.
Whether you live in or around Ao Nang or not, the banks here are likely to be the most “foreigner-friendly” in terms of speaking English and understanding the law with regard to foreigners banking in Thailand. So it is worth coming here to open an account: all the major banks have branches around the beach area and all – unlike the banks in town – are open until 5pm. Bangkok Bank is often considered the easiest place to do this, but if you have the correct paperwork, any bank will be fine.
All Thai banks now offer online and mobile banking, so be sure to ask for access when you register.
Foreigners do not earn interest on any savings held in a Thai bank account; mortgages and loans (other than on credit cards) are also usually out of bounds unless you can convince your employer to guarantee it.
All banks in Krabi accept international money transfers; they also usually provide you with an ATM cash withdrawal card. Credit cards must be applied for separately. It is however, wise to keep your home country credit card active for online purchases, as Thai cards are often refused online on international sites.
To receive money in Thailand without a bank account, you can use a service like Western Union, that delivers here; or use an ATM card to withdraw cash from an account in your home country. ATM machines are everywhere in the beach areas and Krabi Town. Transferring money out of Thailand is more tricky; and requires special declaration / permission (with evidence of provenance of funds) for amounts over 50,000 baht.
- Krabi expat guide
- Long stay accommodation in Krabi
- Krabi transport connections
- Finding employment in Krabi
- Expat entertainment in Krabi
- International TV & Media
- Internet, phone and 4G connections
- Western food in Krabi
- Owning and driving a vehicle in Krabi
- Hospitals and health insurance in Krabi
- Krabi international schools
- Learning Thai & other language difficulties